Database management is so important that I´m surprised at the number of small business owners who don´t give the credence it deserves. Database management is about managing the leads that you´ve spent time, energy and money to generate. To me, the real success of any cold calling campaign is not only generating the lead but knowing what to do with it after it´s been generated. In other words, it makes no sense to generate a lead if you´re not going to take the time and effort it takes to follow it through. I recently visited a client who had stacks (paper) of leads that had been generated over the last 5 years. These leads had not been entered into the database, not followed up on to any great degree and for the most part we´re technically still active. What´s important to note is that after a careful and time consulting survey, we discovered that potentially $10 million in estimated sales had been lost due to the fact that no one in her office had taken the responsibility to follow up on these leads. Naturally, a few people in her office were chastised for this.
Here´s another thought. If you have sent info to a prospect (and I can´t say this enough times folks) then it behooves you to do three things..
Follow up to see if they´ve received the info.
Determine if they´ve read the info.
See what they thought of the info
Once you´ve followed up with a prospect. It is up to you, you´re cold caller, your salesperson or sales manager to make sure that any new notes are updated appropriately. This means that any information that the prospect tells you should go in the database no mater how miniscule it might seem. For example, if I know that a prospect just had a birthday, I make a note of it in the database so that the next conversation I have with the prospect will start with "Happy Birthday". Prospects always appreciate the personal touch more than a slick sales approach. Managing a database is really about managing your information. Utilizing good information will help you close a deal faster and better than just about any sales technique you can possibly use. Think about it this way. Who do you buy from? Is it someone who cold calls you with no previous knowledge of who you are or your buying habits? Or is it someone who has done their research based on accumulated information over time? You always want to use any information gathered in a phone call to your advantage. But you can only do that if the info is entered into the database and managed properly.